Occupation(s): Personal Assistant, Writer, Editor, Actor
Type: HSV 2. Probably also HSV 1, but haven't been tested.
Year Gifted: '92
My Story I was diagnosed in '93 but the initial outbreak was in'92. I feel a sense of tragedy about how little I knew at the time. Could easily have avoided contracting the virus if I had been even just a little more savvy. I was having unprotected sex with my donor for about 5 years before contracting the disease. We'd been tested for HIV and thought we had nothing to worry about. In spite of the sense of tragedy mentioned above, I'm a pretty happy guy. I look forward to the future with optimism. I have had relationships since diagnosis and trust I will again; but I'm something of a poster child for feeling whole even when not partnered.
I feel lucky in that I've discovered I can pretty well avoid outbreaks by
knowing the trigger(s). Pretty reliably it's sex, either with a partner or going
solo. More than one orgasm within a 12-hour period is pretty certain to trigger
an outbreak, unless all other factors are optimal. Good news is that 4 or 5
times a week seems to be in the safe zone unless all other factors are at the
absolute nadir. Between those extremes of frequency is a gray area where the
other factors will make the difference. The other factors are the usual general
good health factors. Stress is a factor, yes, but who can avoid stress? Better
to attempt to follow general health practices so the body is better able to
I'm on the stump for greater dissemination of knowledge about herpes.
Same goes for HPV and other STDs for that matter. If all of us (including those
who don't have the virus) knew more, fewer people would get it and it would
carry less of a stigma in society. Important as HIV-related education is, HIV
gets so much attention that people can forget about the less hyped but
more common diseases. That's when people get caught off guard.
I've had both good and bad experiences telling prospective partners. It's
only very recently ('05) that I have told any family members or friends.
Have been contemplating the thought of going quite public, as I think it
could better support my objective cited above under "On the Stump."
The concern that has stopped me so far is a worry about how prospective partners
might feel about being seen with an out partner. Since I'm an actor, I also
wonder how it might affect my prospects for getting work. Possibly it could
actually work to my advantage, but conventional wisdom suggests the opposite.